Student Regents dispute Welch’s idea

By Claudia Curry

Two student Regents disagree with a state senator’s belief that NIU should have its own governing board.

State Senator Patrick Welch, D-Peru, said he believes NIU should leave the Regency system in favor of forming a governing board of its own. “I think the Board of Regents is a bureaucracy that should be terminated. It would be better for the entire higher education community to establish a separate governing board,” Welch said

Student Regent Nick Valadez said, “There are merits in that argument, but the feasibility of that happening is so remote that we would be better off concerning ourselves with getting the best performance out of this board.”

Brian Hopkins, Sangamon State University student Regent said, “Adding another governing board would only add to the problem. It would be wasteful, inefficient and foolish. It would only add another level of bureaucratic waste.”

Hopkins said if the state of Illinois decided to give NIU a separate governing board, it only would give people another board to be frustrated with.

Valadez said he sought to get the best performance out of the Regents with his proposed resolution which stated, “In terms of salary percentage increases, university faculty should be treated the same as the chancellor’s administration and campus administration.” He presented the resolution to the Regents at their last meeting but withdrew it because of the confusion it caused among board members.

Hopkins said, “I don’t think that Nick should have withdrawn the resolution. I think that we should have forced a vote on it and let the board vote it down if they wanted to.”

State Representative John Countryman, R-DeKalb, and Welch earlier this week said the Regents are again sending the “wrong message” to Illinois lawmakers with their approval of salary increases for NIU President John LaTourette and Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves.

Countryman and Welch criticized the Regents several weeks ago for sending the “wrong message” to Springfield last summer with their approval of former NIU President Clyde Wingfield’s temporary re-assignment to Washington D.C.